Showing posts with label heroclix. Show all posts
Showing posts with label heroclix. Show all posts

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Free Comic Book Day 2014

It's Free Comic Book Day again! At least it was yesterday. So, once again I travelled up to Sydney with my wife and daughter to see what loot we could acquire and to generally have a nerdy day out. Unlike last year I went in my default bloke-mode. Once again my son stayed behind - he had a date, in the cold and wind, to watch his girlfriend play hockey.

Anyway, here's my two lovely ladies in the queue at Kings Comics in Sydney.

Oh yes - there was a queue. Unfortunately it has just started to turn cold (we're coming into winter here, don't forget) and despite the forecasted temperature of over 15C it felt much colder - shading from buildings and a bit of a wind. We queued for an hour and a half or more. We should have wrapped up warmer.

There was plenty of cosplay. There always is.

The shop staff had all dressed as Spiderman villains.

This was our favourite costume of the day - Dark Phoenix.

Did I say there was a queue? There was. Marvel and DC always do a comic each for this event that everyone gets (you get to choose two others as well). The staff dish those out to the queue, so that you have something to read. An energy drink company was doling out freebies as well, so we were all nicely hyped up on caffeine.

As we neared the shop, some of the cast of a Star Wars themed burlesque show turned up to promote it.

Star Wars burlesque is, as my daughter would put it, A Thing.

We finally hit the shop and spent about an hour inside. For my freebies I picked up a Rocket Raccoon comic, and this year's free Heroclix (see below). I also bought some more Heroclix figures (because you can never have too many) and something for my birthday next week (you'll have to wait until next week to see that). Catherine and Maya picked up some things I haven't looked at yet, mostly so that Maya could drool over the artwork. A couple of the free comics this year were hard-back books, so some publishers seem to be upping their game.

After lunch at Max Brenner (don't do lunch at Max Brenner - a small amount of chocolate is nice; a full, chocolate-based lunch is hard work) we went to another participating store, the bookshop Kinokuniya. Our friend Marcelo was one of the artists in the artist's alley.

Maya chatted to another artist, and scored herself a free sketch for being patient and friendly. Catherine and I bought another thing for our Sherlock Holmes collection.

A final bit of shopping rounded off the day, before we had to head home so that Catherine could put the chickens to bed before it got too dark.

And here's the free Heroclix figures, which you could pick up in lieu of one of your comic choices. They're very nice - I especially like the Joker, and can see myself using him in games in preference to the other figure I have. The pair came with data cards, a map and some cut-down Heroclix rules. This was a nice piece of marketing really, as in previous years the freebie has just been a single figure, which is great if you play the game, or have another use for it, but otherwise just a pretty statuette. Doing the freebie as a self-contained game is much better for business.

I think GW were involved in FCBD this year as well, giving away sprues of Space Marines, but I didn't see any sign of those here; I don't know if any shops in this part of Australia were participating in that giveaway.

In a couple of weeks we have ComicGong, a local comics event, so I should be picking up more goodies (and great pictures) then.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Free Comic Book Day 2013

Today, May 4th 2013, is Free Comic Book Day. It's a day when comic retailers dish out exactly what's written on the tin - free comic books. I decided that I couldn't pass up an opportunity like that, so planned to travel up to Sydney (a mere two hours away by train and home of my 'local' comic shop) to pick up some of the goodies on offer. Apparently there was a Superman comic and a Marvel preview for everyone, plus two other comics from a selection of fifty tiles, all specially produced for the event by various publishers.

In fact I was seduced by something else as well, more of which later.

As is often the case with things like this, I switched to 'girl-mode' for the day. One thing led to another, and my wife Catherine and daughter Maya decided to accompany me, so leaving my son at home to mind the chickens we made it a girls' day out.

So, up at 6am, and on a train by 7:30am. Two hours later we approached King's Comics on Pitt Street to see a gigantic queue of nerds. Heaven. It was like the queue for Salute, but without the personal hygiene issues.

There were people in costumes, of course.

We waited patiently for 40 minutes or so in a queue that moved steadily. Would all of the goodies be gone before we got there?

Maya and I whiled away time posting duck-faces to Facebook, because we have no shame.

Catherine got us some coffee ( a local retailer was doing a 2 for the price of 1 offer to cash in on the huge captive market outside).

Note the genuine monorail reflected in the window behind her (although I believe it's scheduled for closure now).

And here's my two lovely ladies ...

Maya has a thing for dressing up as a cat. But who am I to criticise?

We made it into the shop, where I didn't take any pictures, because we were too busy acquiring stuff. We got our Superman and our Marvel Infinity. I picked up 'Steam-Engines of Oz' as my free choice, which is a sort of steampunk Oz comic. Interesting, but not outstanding. Catherine picked up 'Scratch 9', which concerns a cat that can summon its previous lives, and 'The Red Ten' which is the start of a mini-series adapting Agatha Christie's 'Ten Little Indians' as a superhero story. I can't remember what Maya picked up, but I know at least one of them was specifically for the art-work as she's an aspiring artist/designer/animator and likes the inspiration.

I also got the goodie I went for - a free Heroclix figure. As part of the promotion for Iron Man 3 you could drop one of your two comic picks and have an Iron Man figure instead. How did they know I wanted an Iron Man figure? I have no idea. But I did. And I got one.

Here I am looking reasonably pleased with my acquisition.

And here's the figure. I think it's a standard Heroclix figure, although it has a different dial to the commercial one.That  makes no difference to me. Being free? Now that I like.

In the background Catherine can be seen reading her Superman comic. She doesn't like Superman. She thinks someone should punch his smug face repeatedly.

The new Heroclix dials are very practical, which is great if you play Heroclix. They're a lot chunkier than the old ones though, so more obtrusive if you just want the figure for non-Heroclix purposes. One day I shall start rebasing my Heroclix.

Having got my Iron Man I bought a couple of Heroclix boosters form the Iron Man 3 range. I got duplicates. How my daughter laughed. But it's the rather dull Iron Man stealth armour, so at least one is ripe for a repaint of some kind. I may do it in something like the Iron Man colour scheme of my youth, which I recall had less gold than the current one, and more red. I need to work out how to mix a slightly metallic red though.

We also popped into a big bookshop, Kinokuniya, that was participating. There were more costumes, of course, enough manga to keep my daughter in a state of bliss for months and a number of Australian artists and illustrators for her to talk to. These included Marcelo Baez, who lives locally and who we have coffee with some mornings. Here's Catherine and Maya with Marcelo.

And here's a link to his blog.

After lunch we were comic'd out, so we hit the markets - Catherine wanted a hat and I'm after some boots - attempted to find another geocache (we failed) and then headed home, tired, footsore but loaded with loot.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Go Outside And Play

It's a public holiday and, because it's Australia, it's sunny. The kind of day when your mum would say "It's a public holiday and it's sunny - why don't you go outside and play?"

So Maya and I did. Whilst Catherine and Cei went off with fishing rods pretending to be Jeremy Wade, Maya and I found a shelter in the park, and set up a game of Clobberin' Time. This was her first time playing it, but she picked it up quickly and enjoyed it. But then she is a bit of a comics geek, which helps.

We set up the same X-Men/Brotherhood of Evil Mutants game I played last week. The felt pieces represented buildings. We spent a lot of the game chasing after them, as the breeze kept blowing them away.

Both sides had to take an objective from the opposing side of the board, and get it to their own side.

Here's the game set up and in progress. That's my daughter, Maya, for those that don't know. She played the X-Men (Cyclops, Wolverine and Nightcrawler - she luuuurves Nightcrawler), and I played the Evil Mutants (Quicksilver, Pyro and The Blob).

The various objects on the board edge were to stop it blowing away in the breeze coming off the lake.

Quicksilver zipped ahead, and was opposed by Wolverine.

Maya kept Cyclops to cover the objective, as his incessant whining annoyed the other X-Men.

The first turn of action. Nightcrawler had teleported to the central building, The Blob was moving up to help Quicksilver and Pyro was trying to make himself useful on the sidelines.

 Nightcrawler teleported again, but ended up too close to The Blob who, not one to miss an opportunity, attacked him. He scored four hits, but Nightcrawler's agility saved him from all but one.

With Quicksilver zooming around elsewhere, Wolverine moved up to assist his team-mate. He inflicted a couple of hits on The Blob with his claws, although The Blob scored one back.

Ah, there's Quicksilver! He'd run right around the central building, and raced over to grab the objective whilst Cyclops failed to stop him.

However Nightcrawler had also got the X-Men's objective, and was teleporting for home, slowed only by hinder markers (I rejigged Teleport so that, instead of being inaccurate with distance, there was a high chance of losing future actions the further you went). Pyro also slowed the German mutant's return with some flame-control,

Wolverine took down The Blob.

He then closed in on Quicksilver, who was on the run home. It was touch and go whether he'd make it back before Nightcrawler got his act together enough to teleport, but Cyclops finally did something useful and blasted the speedster before he could move.

Nightcrawler teleported to victory.

Maya's victory dance. Yes, she still does victory dances.

 I think Cei and Catherine caught a couple of fish. We had more fun though. And we got out into the fresh air and sunshine.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

X-Men vs The Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants

This weekend I've run a few more test games of the superhero skirmish rules I'm working on. This is just one of them. For this writeup I thought I'd move away from Batman, and into territory with which I'm more familiar - Marvel's X-Men.

Pulling figures out of my Heroclix boxes I assembled two teams of three characters:

On the left, some X-Men - Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Wolverine. On the right a contingent from The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants - Quicksilver (yes, I know - let's assume he's been mind-controlled or blackmailed or something), The Blob and Pyro.

It was a chance to try out some newer abilities. Cyclops and Pyro both have Power Blast, which is an upgraded ranged attack. Nightcrawler has Teleport, which enables him to make long moves, but with diminishing accuracy the longer they get. Wolverine has Weapon, which gives optional bonus combat dice at the risk of losing the ability if you roll too well. Quicksilver has Speed, which allows him an extra move or an extra action each turn. And both Wolverine and The Blob have Resilience, which gives them more powerful defensive dice.

I went for an off-the-cuff scenarion - basically it's Capture The Flag. Both sides have an objective counter in the centre of their board edge. Their opponents have to grab it (an action) then get it to he centre of their board edge. Without any planning on my part, both sides have a solid close-combat specialist, a movement specialist and a ranged-combat specialist.

Here are the X-Men, ready to go. Wolverine guards the objective.

The Evil Mutants. The Blob is their guard.

And the playing area - some rough going, some blocking terrain.

Nightcrawler kicks things off, teleporting about halfway down one flank.

But Pyro moves up and uses his Hinder power to entrap the German mutant.

The board a the end of the first turn. Most characters have just move into better positions.

Nightcrawler throws off the Hinder, and teleports again, but Pyro follows and entraps him again. Unfortunately at this stage one counter isn't enough to seriously inconvenience Nightcrawler, as he can use his his action to get rid of it and then move. Two markers would stop him completely for a turn, but Pyro just can't manage it.

On the other flank Quicksilver makes a run for the objective. Wolverine waits patiently.

Cyclops zaps Pyro for two hits. Not good.

The Blob opts for an active defence, and moves in on Nightcrawler. With the Hinder marker on him, his defences are lower, so this is a chance to seriously damage him. But The Blob fails to score a hit.

Nightcrawler teleports to the objective, but lands just short.

The Blob follows, but still can't land a hit on him.

Quicksilver zips in and attacks Wolverine, who is suitable unimpressed.

 Cyclops has another shot at Pyro, but misses.

Wolverine hits Quicksilver. Quicksilver's speed is not enough to make an impression on the Canadian mutant.

Third time lucky - Cyclops downs Pyro.

The Blob lands a good hit on Nightcrawler, and only his Agility reroll saves him from some damage.

Quicksilver retreats. Quickly.

Cyclops takes a shot at him, but misses.

Nightcrawler grabs the objective.

Then teleports to relative safety. He doesn't have a line of sight to his home point, though, owing to a missed teleport roll.

Quicksilver runs over and scores a hit on him.

 Nightcrawler teleports to within sight of home.

Meanwhile Wolverine moves to block Quicksilver from following him.

But Quicksilver takes a detour through the rough going ...

... and his double move is enough to reach Nightcrawler. He inflicts no damage though.

Cyclops blasts him for one hit. He's on his last point now, and things are looking bad for the Evil Mutants.

On the next turn Quicksilver gets the initiative and uses a double action to try and take down Nightcrawler. But he fails to score any hits as Nightcrawler evades him - just.

The Blob, meanwhile, has come up behind Cyclops, and plants a solid hit on him.

Desperate times breed desperate measures - Quicksilver moves to grab their objective.

However this puts him closer to Wolverine, who has just enough movement to reach him. Applying his Weapon ability he wades in with his claws and cuts Quicksilver down, scoring four hits, none of which are blocked  - Professor X will not be happy ...

Nightcrawler somersaults onto the home point to win the battle for the X-Men.

There's still plenty of testing to do, but I think I have the core of some rules that provides quick, exciting games. I need to fine-tune some of the defensive abilities still, so I will try some games with armoured characters at some stage and see how they turn out. And I haven't tested that superhero mainstay - Flight - yet.

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